Legacies of War continues to support UXO clearance in Laos

12/11/2022 10:14
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KPL (KPL) The board members of Legacies of War and its community partners visited the Lao PDR to review efforts to remove unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the Southeast Asian country.



Legacies of War team visits Xiengkhoung Province. Photo by Kayleb Lee

(KPL) The board members of Legacies of War and its community partners visited the Lao PDR to review efforts to remove unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the Southeast Asian country.

The Legacies of War team visited Laos during Nov1-19, 2022.


Legacies of War team visits Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo by Kayleb Lee

“Legacies of War is an educational and advocacy organization working to address the impacts of American Secret War in Laos and military conflicts in the Southeast Asian region, including removal of UXO. We raise awareness of the history of bombardments carried out during the Secret War in Laos, advocate the healing of the wounds of war, and bring better hopes for a future of peace,” Executive Director of Legacies of War, Ms Sera Koulabdara told to media on Nov 9.

Photo by Kayleb Lee

Ms Sera Koulabdara and her team visited Xieng Khuang, Savannakhet, Champassak, and Luang Prabang to evaluate UXO clearance efforts in the provinces. 

“UXO problem has been in existence for a long time; too many innocent lives have been lost; too many farmers and children have been disabled; and their lives have been changed forever. But it is not too late to stop this senseless suffering,” said Ms Sera Koulabdara.

Photo by Kayleb Lee


“As a child in Laos, I was taught to walk on well-worn paths to avoid unexploded bombs left over from the Secret War. This tragic legacy must end so that people can live a new life,” said Ms Sera Koulabdara.

Since founded in 2004, Legacies of War has received increasing UXO clearance funding from the US government, from US$1.3 million in 2004 to US$40 million in 2021, and US$45 million in 2022.

Photo by Kayleb Lee

“In 2016, we worked in close partnership with President Obama’s team on this issue, and he recognized our founder during his historic trip to Laos when he announced a three-year-US$90-million commitment. We will continue working to ensure that the United States sustains funding for Laos until the problem is over,” she said.

Photo by Kayleb Lee


Legacies inspired President Obama's historic visit to Laos.

The organization has asked the US Congress to pass a USUS$80 bill for fiscal year 2023 for UXO removal and related efforts in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam with Laos expected to receive US$50 million of the package.

Photo by Kayleb Lee


From 1964 to 1973, U.S. dropped more than 2.5 million tons of ordnance on Laos. This is equal to a planeload of bombs on villages and wilderness every eight minutes for nine years. Local accounts described the bombs falling like rain as they obliterated homes and killed Laotians.

In 2022, Legacies received the inaugural Humanitarian Award from the Lao PDR for its successful advocacy efforts.

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